State Sen. Brad Holyman, D-Manhattan, has called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to ban Robert F. Kennedy, Jr from the social media platform over tweets about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Holyman has also called for the permanent suspension of Kennedy’s nonprofit Children’s Health Defense from the platform as well. Kennedy is a well-known anti-vaccine activist who speaks across the country about children’s exposure to chemicals and radiation from the environment, food and water and certain vaccines.
But Hoylman said the son of U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy is being a “public health menace.”
“With infection rates spiking in New York and beyond, we’re on the verge of a third wave of COVID-19 that threatens to kill tens of thousands of more people and undo the hard work and sacrifice of millions of Americans to defeat the pandemic,” Holyman said in a statement. “Now, it’s more important than ever to recognize Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for what he is: A public health menace who should be banned from Twitter. Kennedy trades on his famous name, hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and bunk science to spread lies about the COVID-19 vaccine.”
On Mar. 1, Twitter introduced a five strike system that increasingly restricts access for users who violate the COVID-19 misinformation policy. Five or more strikes results in permanent suspension.
Some of Kennedy’s tweets include questions about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines while stating that they can lead to adverse reactions, side effects and death while linking to a Children’s Health Defense article.
“Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is attempting to dissuade Americans from getting vaccinated just as we fight new strains of variants that could lengthen the COVID-19 pandemic and kill countless more people,” Holyman continued. “I urge Jack Dorsey to follow Twitter’s own guidelines on the distribution of false and misleading information and permanently suspend Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Twitter account immediately.”